Who's it for?
Family counselling is suitable for any family that might be having difficulties within the relationships between family (and external) members. Even though families offer a source of strength, stability and security, sometimes issues can develop that afffect everyone and unhelpful behaviours and patterns can develop.
Family counselling can help with issues of behaviour, conflict, alienation. It is helpful in addressingissues arising from separation, divorce / remarriage, stepfamilies, illness, loss or bereavement. It can be very helpful in supporting concerns about adolescence, sexual abuse, bullying or helping a child, young person or adult in the family facing mental health difficulties.
Who needs to come?
This can vary depending on the age of the children, family situation, and the presenting issues. I would discuss this with the parent(s) prior to coming.
The probem is my son/daughter, why do we all need to come?
Family counselling helps to look at the patterns that exist in a family - some of which are helpful, and others that might be unhelpful. Often one person in a family can be identified as the 'problem' but in a whole system we are all connected and interrelated. It is most productive and healing when the whole family can be helped to grow and develop and understand difficulties together.
What sort of issues can you help with?
Family counselling is very effective where there is conflict, tension or anger in the family. It can help with self harming behaviour, loss and grief. Family counselling is very useful for families where there are communication difficulties, or difficult behaviour (even if only present in one family member).
Can one of us come on our own?
Yes, seeing a single family member can be helpful and effective, although the ideal is to have everyone involved at some point.
Do we need a referral?
No. As this is a private arrangement, no-one else needs to know. However it may be helpful to inform others like a doctor or a school and this would be discussed with you.
How many sessions will we need?
This is something that will be discussed with you and will be ongoingly assessed and based on a case by case basis.
Sometimes I am unable to help.
In some cases I may need to refer you on to further services, for example I am not equiped to diagnose any medical or mental health conditions, or offer any psychological assessments. In these instances, I can signpost you accordingly.
My role is to help you see ways of changing relationship patterns, to identify previously attempted solutions and to move through impasses. I am there to support your own discovery of new ways of doing things rather than tell you which routes to follow so that you feel empowered to apply your own solutions.
Systemic therapy is characterised by its collaborative, non blaming approach whilst working respectfully and effectively in ways that consider important relationships, past generations, and the different systems and contexts in which we live.
I am a member of The Association of Family Therapists (AFT) www.aft.org.uk